SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Rutland Water

image: SPA location map 


Rutland Water is located in Rutland, in the English East Midlands. It is a man-made pump storage reservoir created by the damming of the Gwash Valley in 1975 and is the largest reservoir in the United Kingdom. In general the reservoir is drawn down in the summer and filled during the autumn and winter months when river levels are high. The main habitats are open water and a mosaic of lagoons, reedswamp, marsh, old meadows, scrub and woodland. The lagoons are one of the most important areas for wintering wildfowl.


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
Over winter;
Gadwall Anas strepera, 1,156 individuals representing at least 3.9% of the wintering Northwestern Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
Shoveler Anas clypeata, 526 individuals representing at least 1.3% of the wintering Northwestern/Central Europe population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
Over winter, the area regularly supports 23,501 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Coot Fulica atra, Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, Pochard Aythya ferina, Teal Anas crecca, Wigeon Anas penelope, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis, Shoveler Anas clypeata, Gadwall Anas strepera



Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.